Friday, August 05, 2016

Bison numbers spur changes in population control measures

Wildlife managers are considering changes to the hunting and slaughter of bison that leave Yellowstone National Park after past efforts failed to achieve population reduction goals set by a 2000 agreement. Roughly 600 bison were killed during the past winter, including through shipments of the animals to slaughter and hunting by American Indians and state-licensed hunters. Despite the hundreds of animals killed, officials told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that the park’s bison population saw no significant decrease. Montana officials and many ranchers have pushed to curb the park’s bison population, which migrate by the thousands into the state when Yellowstone has severe winters. They can compete with livestock for grazing space and many bison carry brucellosis, a disease that can cause cattle to abort. A 2000 agreement between Montana and federal agencies requires bison kept out of areas with cattle, resulting in thousands of bison captured and slaughtered and drawing condemnation from wildlife advocates...more

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